Rick Case is more than just a multimillionaire auto magnate with dealerships in Ohio, Georgia, and Florida. He’s also a petty, vindictive son of a bitch who favors kingly writing utensils.
That’s the word seeping out of south Florida, where Case was flying from Fort Lauderdale when he left behind a $450 pen at airport security back in June. Surveillance cameras later captured footage of a TSA screener who grabbed the pen to sign a time sheet, then pocketed it.
Unfortunately for the agent, Case has “sentimental” ties to the pen. Also unfortunate: Case has a history of donating to the area’s sheriff’s department. And so an investigation ensued, complete with lie-detector tests for TSA employees.
The stunning revelation came about in this Law & Order-worthy interrogation:
Interrogator: “Did that pen belong to you when you took it?”
Agent: “No, it did not.”
Asked why he took it in the first place, he explained: “I don’t know. The pen is a, the pen is, the pen is a goddamn, nice pen.”
The prodigal pen was returned to Case, who celebrated by pressing felony theft charges against the agent.
According to the Broward Palm Beach New Times, the state attorney’s office got the case from the sheriff and responded much as every other human being on earth would: huh? But because the agent had confessed, the case went forward. The agent rejected a deal that would have had him cop to taking the pen in exchange for a year of probation. So a trial date has been set.
Case could not be reached for comment, though reporters did not particularly want to talk to him anyway.